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Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Cancer Care Northwest is the only treatment center in the Inland Northwest that offers Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC), an innovative chemotherapy procedure performed during surgery to treat certain advanced abdominal cancers.

HIPEC is a procedure performed immediately following a cytoreductive surgery, which uses standard surgical methods to remove all visible tumors in the abdominal cavity. 

During HIPEC, a surgical oncologist delivers heated chemotherapy into the abdominal cavity to penetrate diseased tissue directly. During the procedure, heated chemotherapy drugs are circulated for around 90 minutes, sometimes more, throughout the abdominal cavity to kill any remaining cancerous cells that can’t be seen.  Your abdomen is then flushed out with a sterile solution.

This therapy is effective at preventing or slowing down the recurrence of your disease.  

Heat kills cancer cells at temperatures where normal cells remain unharmed.  Heating chemotherapy agents makes killing the cancerous cells more effective.  Circulating heated chemotherapy through one’s abdominal cavity distributes the chemotherapy to affected tissue and organs. This results in less side effects than when the drugs are injected intravenously.

Cancer that has spread to the lining surfaces of the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity from primary colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, gastric cancer, appendiceal cancer or from mesothelioma and pseudomyxoma peritonei (known as peritoneal carcinomatosis) are cancers HIPEC treats.

Because no surgery is without risk and because recovery can be substantial, HIPEC is not for everyone. A surgeon that specializes in HIPEC can help you determine if this is the right treatment option for you.

Cancer Care Northwest’s Dr. Ryan Holbrook, surgical oncologist, is recognized throughout the nation for his expertise in HIPEC. He has used the procedure to treat more than 300 patients over the past 12 years.